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Chased by PicRights for copyright violation

Posted: Thu Feb 11, 2021 3:36 pm
by Oli
Hi, our group's website received an email from "PicRights on behalf of Reuters News & Media Inc" identifying copyright material on our website and requiring licence payment.

We've remove the single tiny image from the site, and can't deny that it may well be their copyright.

However they're claiming £225 as licence fee for having used this image, which seems disproportionate.

Does anyone have experience of dealing with PicRights? Are they a Rottweiler who will stop at nothing or are they just fishing and won't consider the fee worth going to court over?

One of our members found this, a discussion of a similar situation, in which the proposed action was to make a counter-offer to the payment:

Chair, RFVM

Re: Chased by PicRights for copyright violation

Posted: Sat Feb 13, 2021 8:16 am
by Howard-Smith
There’s a forum where people are discussing very similar cases of alleged attempted ‘extortion’ by PicRights. ... rights-uk/

There doesn’t appear to be a single case where further legal action has been taken by them. See below for a typical question and answer on the forum.

Re: Extortion Letter from PicRights UK
« Reply #6 on: August 20, 2018, 11:26:00 AM »
I had received a few letters from PicRights every few weeks for 2 months or so. Saying the usual "You owe us for this blah blah blah". I began receiving them after I stupidly replied to a previous different extortion copyright type email (CreditReform representing Ryde GmbH) basically telling them to f off.

The letters seem really unprofessional, the language used, the formatting. Even the paper it's printed on seems a bit off.

When Googling "PicRights" 8 out of the 1st 10 results are about whether it's a scam or not...and I'm yet to find anyone, either on this forum or otherwise, who has actually had legal action taken against them.

The letters and emails have since stopped after completely ignoring them (Haven't received one for almost 2 months)

Although I will post on this forum if there are any further developments...

Edit: Of course, I removed the images in question immediately. Just in case...
« Last Edit: August 20, 2018, 11:30:04 AM by will123 »
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Re: Extortion Letter from PicRights UK
« Reply #7 on: September 08, 2018, 07:08:00 PM »
It does not surprise me there are very few lawsuits if at all. Most of this process is based on psychological pressure of a legal threat. They are testing the waters.

I suspect the legal process in the UK costs money, effort, and legal fees to engage. That barrier of entry makes people think twice.

And I also suspect that even with a win, getting money from an unwilling payer who is digging in is not an easy thing to collect.

That is why there is a high motivation to settle. If not, they get nothing.

Re: Chased by PicRights for copyright violation

Posted: Sun Feb 14, 2021 10:10 am
by Howard-Smith
Further to my last message, having delved into this subject further, the impression I get is that there’s a whole industry out there of people trawling the internet looking for “copyright infringements” so that they can demand large fines. Many people either pay up out of fear of further action, or negotiate a lower amount to pay. Those who refuse to acknowledge any wrongdoing are pursued and threatened for some time but then the threats stop eventually because in most cases further action would be expensive and not cost effective. That’s how I read the situation anyway.

Re: Chased by PicRights for copyright violation

Posted: Sun Feb 14, 2021 7:53 pm
by Oli
Thanks for the response Howard, my view was also to do nothing in response to automated emails and see if it escalates to anything else.